AT&T giving free FaceTime calls only to Mobile Share customers
Aug 18, 2012 (Los Angeles Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
AT&T has announced it won't charge users extra for cellular FaceTime calls -- if they are on the network's new Mobile Share plan.
FaceTime is Apple's video calling feature, available for the iPhone and other Apple devices. AT&T said it will offer the feature as a benefit to its customers who choose to go with the new plan, which was announced last month and will launch in late August.
That's good news for customers who switch to that plan, but users who like their existing plans have a potentially difficult decision to make.
People in the second group include some of the earliest iPhone users in the United States.
During the first three years of the iPhone's existence, the device was available only through AT&T, which offered it with an unlimited data plan. AT&T stopped offering that plan in 2010.
Customers who already had the unlimited plan were able to keep it even as they upgraded to newer versions of the iPhone, but AT&T is now putting them in a tough situation: Choose unlimited data or free cellular FaceTime calls, but you can't have both.
AT&T will allow all its customers with iPhones to make FaceTime calls via a Wi-Fi connection. The company has not said whether non-Mobile Share customers will be able to pay an additional fee to use FaceTime over its cellular network.
Sprint, on the other hand, continues to offer unlimited data plans with the iPhone and has said it will not charge extra for the new feature.
Verizon, the other major U.S. carrier of the iPhone, has remained quiet about its plans for the feature.
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